eulogie for the nature girl


Girlith Ann Pooch. Beautiful warrior huntress. 100% street.

Two days before Christmas my friend Betsy found her dodging traffic in the snow over by where they were selling Christmas trees in Williamsburg. We had been thinking about getting another dog so we said we’d take her in until we could find her owner. She was still just a puppy – a beautiful skittish fox of a thing. She and Sammy made out for three hours when Betsy brought her over and I did everything I could to not get attached to her. We eventually found the her owner who let us keep her. That was such a great day!

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Girlie was a nervous wreck. She spent most of the time under the kitchen table, always wide awake, carefully watching everything with a worried furrowed brow. I don’t think she slept hardly at all for a year or two.

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Girlie and Sammy were best friends who ran and played and played and ran. Girlie liked to run really fast and she would tuck her butt under and put her ears back and haul ass around the playground or living room or the beach or the park. Also, she would talk when she was super happy so see you.

She really blossomed when we moved to Astoria. I think having less noise relaxed her and she seemed to come into her own. She became an expert at opening jars from the trash and getting into the dry food bin and she got really fat for a while. She loved to dance and play hide and seek, and whenever I was sad she would lick the tears off my cheeks. She snored like an old man under my desk while I worked.


I think maybe Girlith Ann would have been happiest if we lived in the woods. Unlike Sammy who seems to identify mostly with people, Girlie was a  true child of nature. She was very intuitive and intelligent and she never seemed to get the hang of anything not directly connected with the present moment. Always all here, right now, shamelessly open-hearted and beautiful.


A few days ago, she started get sick. She didn’t want to eat or be around anyone. We rushed her to the hospital Wednesday evening and the Vet said that she had a mass on her heart with fluid around it and fluid in her lungs and abdomen. They drained the fluid but it came right back and breathing became harder and more painful for her and we knew that we wouldn’t be able to bring her home. She let Charles and I nuzzle her one last time and then she turned her head away, the same way she did every night as if to say, “ok, time for bed,” and we sang her songs and kissed her goodnight for the very last time.

Today along with my deep relentless sorrow, I carry with me the quiet powerful dignity that Girlie possessed. My special girl understood and had total acceptance for the terrible wonder that is the natural world. The question “why” was not something she cared about. She just liked to dance and play and run and sleep right next to me.  Because of Girlie I want to be a channel for joy,  I know that all is well right now.


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Because of Girlie I know the greatest gift you’ll ever know -  just to love and be loved in return.

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Girlith Ann is beautiful

Girlith Ann is beautiful

Girlith Ann is beautiful





2001 – 2015


5 thoughts on “eulogie for the nature girl

  1. Bawling so hard I can hardly see the screen. I’m so sorry you guys!!!! This is the best tribute I’ve ever seen. I love that you and Girlith Ann had each other. Love love love!!!!!

  2. Girlie was a sweet, sweet dog and she truly brought out the best in you. You were and are such a terrific mother. I know that Girlie is in Heaven with Carolyn now and that they are both laughing and hugging each other as tight as they can. xxoo

  3. Now that I’ve dried my eyes, I’d like to add that Girlith Ann was earthy, yet spontaneous and free spirited. She was an inspiration to street dogs everywhere.

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